Al Fresco Dining Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts for Enjoying Outdoor Meals

Al fresco dining, or dining outdoors, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you’re enjoying a meal on a patio, terrace, or rooftop, there’s something special about dining in the fresh air with a view of the city skyline or the waterfront. The Deck at Island Gardens is one such place that offers a stunning outdoor dining experience, perfect for enjoying a meal with friends or loved ones.

When dining al fresco, it’s important to keep in mind a few etiquette dos and don’ts to ensure a pleasant experience for yourself and those around you. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your outdoor dining experience:


1. Do dress appropriately for the weather. If you’re dining outside on a sunny day, be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. On cooler evenings, bring a light jacket or sweater to stay comfortable.

2. Do make a reservation if possible. Outdoor dining spaces can fill up quickly, especially during peak hours or on weekends. By making a reservation in advance, you can secure a table and avoid waiting for a seat.

3. Do be mindful of your noise level. While it’s natural to chat and laugh with your dining companions, be considerate of other diners around you. Keep your voice at a moderate level to avoid disturbing others.

4. Do be patient with the waitstaff. Outdoor dining can present unique challenges for servers, such as dealing with wind, insects, or uneven terrain. Be understanding if your food or drinks take a little longer to arrive.

5. Do enjoy the view. One of the best parts of dining al fresco is the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of your surroundings. Whether you’re dining on a rooftop overlooking the city or by the water’s edge, be sure to soak in the ambiance.


1. Don’t feed the wildlife. While it can be tempting to share your meal with the birds or squirrels that may be nearby, feeding wildlife can disrupt the natural balance and attract unwanted pests. Keep your food to yourself to avoid any unwanted attention.

2. Don’t leave a mess. Outdoor dining spaces are often shared by multiple parties, so it’s important to clean up after yourself. Dispose of your trash in the designated bins and leave the table and chairs in the same condition as you found them.

3. Don’t smoke in non-designated areas. Many outdoor dining spaces have designated smoking areas to accommodate guests who smoke. If you’re a smoker, be sure to adhere to the restaurant’s smoking policy and refrain from smoking in non-designated areas.

4. Don’t linger after you’ve finished your meal. While it’s nice to savor the moment and enjoy the outdoor ambiance, be mindful of the restaurant’s seating policy. If there are other diners waiting for a table, be considerate and make room for the next party.

5. Don’t forget to tip your server. Just like dining indoors, it’s important to show appreciation for good service by leaving a tip for your server. A standard tip is 15-20% of the total bill, but feel free to adjust based on the level of service you received.


Q: Is it appropriate to bring children to outdoor dining spaces?

A: Many outdoor dining spaces welcome families with children, but it’s important to be mindful of other diners and ensure that your children are well-behaved during the meal.

Q: Can I bring my own food or drinks to an outdoor dining space?

A: Most outdoor dining spaces have policies prohibiting outside food and drinks to maintain the quality and integrity of the dining experience. It’s best to check with the restaurant beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.

Q: What should I do if the weather turns bad during my outdoor meal?

A: If the weather takes a turn for the worse, most outdoor dining spaces will have a plan in place to accommodate guests. This may include moving the meal indoors or providing umbrellas or tents for shelter.

In conclusion, al fresco dining can be a delightful way to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure a pleasant experience for yourself and those around you. So next time you’re dining outdoors, remember to dress appropriately, make a reservation, be mindful of your noise level, and above all, enjoy the view. For more information on outdoor dining at The Deck at Island Gardens, visit